Sunday, June 30, 2013

Independence Day~Revisited


Pinterest photo

Jim and I spent the entire month of May on the east coast.  We had the opportunity to revisit our American Heritage and to gain a new appreciation for the price paid by thousands for the independence and liberties we all enjoy.


 Diorama of the Mayflower found 
in the Provincetown Museum

There is nothing like having your consciousness raised about your patriotism quite like discovering  that you have ancestors that were pilgrims. That would have never happened had we not been working and learning all the time we have been serving in the Oakland Family History Library.  If we hadn't been working hard to learn Family Tree and it hadn't come out when it did we would have missed this opportunity of a life time.  The trip was planned to the places we visited long before we knew any of this.  There is also nothing quite like having Bob Trapp sit beside you and guide you through verifying it all in "The Mayflower Families Through Five Generations" that we have right there on our shelves in the Library.  The Silver Books are the authoritative source for verification of those five generations and is a compilation of thousands of researchers' findings.


The Mayflower Society Building 
is directly behind this gorgeous house.

The thing about this discovery is not in being related to an historical figure or in being able to join a society.  The pearl is found in actually knowing who our ancestors are and knowing the information for them is well-documented and that they are a part of our lineage.  We were the first in both of our families to do family history so being able to discover this has been so wonderful. When I put the first pencil to a paper pedigree and had only a handful of names, I could not have imagined that 35 years later this could happen.  It is nothing short of a miracle.

We went on our first family history trip and learned the best vacations are those with a purpose beyond just touring and sightseeing.  I don't see any regular vacations in our future ever!  We understand now we need to go to several places and walk where they walked and stand by their graves.  We saw many beautiful places and learned so much along the way but the very best days were spent doing family history. 


Parishioner Cemetery, Truro, MA
Some ancestors are buried here

As much as we love the websites like Find A Grave and Billion Graves it is just not the same as being there. Through our experience in the Library we have learned many things pertinent to our family history and were prepared to search when we arrived.  We are so grateful to all the wonderful and brilliant people we work with that have taught us so much.  Our prior learning helped us know just what to do, where to go and how to find what we needed.

We learned all about Jim's immigrant Grandfather's real life experience in his first town in America after coming from Italy at 18. In New Jersey he would  join his brothers in the grocery business they established in Montclair just across the river from Manhattan.

We could browse through countless articles and city directories and old postcards and feel what his life was like in the early years in 3D...not just online!  We saw their first home and toured it because the current owner just happened to be home and invited us in.


Gramma and Grampa's first house.  
Their last house was our first house!
This home was featured in Scientific American in 1890! 
We found it in the local library!

We sat in their church, because it just happened to be open right when we passed by for a special event.   We saw his mother's elementary school because the one lady walking down a little side street just happened to know and we were prompted to stop and ask.


The place they worshiped God,
Our Lady of the The Immaculate Conception
Catholic Church in Montclair.

We found  the store, Ferrera and Co, at 425 Bloomfield Avenue because the city directory gave us the name and location of the business in about five minutes. We found them at the Historical Society because Jim was prompted to see if they even had one that very morning as we were driving in.   Montclair's Historical Society just happened to be open on Wednesdays only.  It felt like divine help and inspiration at every turn. (Because it was!)

Jim standing in front of the old grocery store
Now a self-described High End Thrift Shop!
We could just picture Grampa 
in his green bib apron 
taking care of the produce.

 It was the perfect day and one of the most wonderful genealogy experiences we could have ever hoped to have.  All  this was possible because we live in America!   We had the liberty to move about freely within our country and this is the place where people could immigrate to find opportunities they didn't have in the old country.  Right there in that little town our American branch in Jim's family was begun.

Jim visited Patriot's Cove in Charleston, South Carolina and toured the ships, the USS Yorktown and a sub and a battleship that gave him a glimpse at the courage and bravery of the young men,  including my father who served in WW2.  That just deepened our appreciation for our freedoms and liberties so much.  He saw the tiny spaces they lived in for months and months and with the danger all around them and how extremely young they were.  It was all very sobering and poignant for both of us.


Love this Rag Flag

From there we went to Plymouth, Massachusetts where we learned much more than we had ever  known about the pilgrims and gained a true appreciation for their immense sacrifices to come here and establish a place where we could have religious freedoms like in no other place on earth.  We gained a deep appreciation for the Native Americans that helped them learn how to raise corn and mentored them in the ways of their new country.

Pilgrim Hall Museum
My favorite museum of all time

In The Pilgrim Hall Museum we saw the artifacts the passengers owned and the treasures they carried with them on the Mayflower.  They had the original bible brought over on the voyage and used by William Bradford for his entire life.  They had lots of pilgrim clothing and so many wonderful books and things for sale.  We bought  a video entitle One Small Candle and it is positively fabulous.  We have watched it many times since we have been home.  We also bought the book, Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, and it is amazing.


Plymouth Plantation
A replica of the first colony
Very touching and meant a lot to us to visit here.


My favorite treasure in the Museum
The White Cradle brought by Susannah White
 on the Mayflower voyage.

Only one baby was born on the voyage,  the son of our ancestor, Stephen Hopkins.  I had a strong feeling that I was gazing upon the borrowed bed of that little relative.  There were three pregnant woman on the voyage.  They had to have bonded deeply on the perilous voyage.  It just makes sense that Susannah would have lent this to her friend, Elizabeth for her infant son, Oceanus.  That's just how most women are, right?  I could just picture that little baby boy sleeping there. The White baby was consider the first child born in the colonies.  He was actually born in Plymouth Harbor as they waited to get a secure place to begin the colonization, build their homes and for winter to pass.


Monticello, Charlottesville, VA

We saw the place where the Mayflower Compact was signed in Provincetown Harbor.  The concepts and principles it included became the basis for the Declaration of Independence. We also visited Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, who was as you know, the primary author of it. We didn't know it then but though recent research we have discovered we are also related to Thomas Jefferson! It was an entire trip of learning to love our family, our American forefathers, our military personnel and their sacrifices, and this great country even more than we had before.

We had this life altering experience because of this country we call America, our love for Family History and our dedication to making learning more a life long pursuit.

 

The First Congregational Meetinghouse 
Thomas Newcomb 'of Eastham'~ Minister 

One of my favorite parts was being able to stand in Truro, Massachusetts in front of the oldest church on Cape Cod.  It was built in 1707 and to know that one of my great-grandfathers was the minister there and had baptized six of his children in that very place in 1717.  It was a joy to discover that The Savior has been an important part of our heritage for many generations.

 Suddenly we felt a lot bigger than our one little family and it was wonderful and will always make for a more special Independence Day for us.  And a more meaningful Thanksgiving too for that matter!  We are already talking about going the Dakotas next and then on to Wales and Sweden.  Thank you co-workers and great teachers and Family Search/Family Tree.  We are believers in your new program and will be patient as you sort things out!!  Take all the time you need Family Search.....it is worth the wait!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Simple Woman's Daybook~June 20, 2013


Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Friday, June 20, 2013
 
Outside my window...Solstice!  The longest Day of the Year.  It is nearly 7:00 PM and the sun is just starting its descent.  The shadows the trees are casting on the side of the house are so pretty.  The leaves are gentle fanning us and it is cooler than usual for this time of year.  Simply put, it has been a gorgeous California day when weather is just a non-issue.  It is just almost always pretty nice here.  The flowers that Michelle planted in April are still alive!  I am enjoying them very much. They are like having little pets though and in constant need of something, like pruning, deadheading, feeding and water.  Sheesh.  Just kidding!  I am not complaining because at least they don't need a litter box!

I am thankful for....a fun summer to look forward to with lots of visitors including our son, Chris and his family, and anyone else who wants to come for a visit.  We are heading to Utah a couple of times for classes at Ed Week, genealogy seminar, and family history training for me (so back to Utah, July, August and September!) Laura and her family are coming out for Ed Week and that is going to be great.  It is always wonderful to have things to look forward to with family and friends.

 
From the learning room....when you love your job it is fun to come back from a vacation.  I have never loved coming back when I worked for someone else.  I liked it a lot more when coming back to my own business, but coming back to my volunteer job is the best.  I just love my co-workers and enjoy the library very much.  Volunteering at work is really something great.  No $ pressures to motivate you or limit you or cloud the issues.  Just priceless service doing something you enjoy.  That is the perfect job.


  I am reading...William Bradford's Plymouth Plantation still~this is considered to be the first American History book ever written.  Jim and I are reading it aloud together and it is excellent so far.  It is Governor William Bradford's account of why the Loyalists from England and the English Separatists from Holland came here on the Mayflower.   It recounts their heroic voyage and is about the settlement they created when they arrived.  It is a fascinating story.
 
From the kitchen...We just fed the Elders for dinner so the kitchen is clean and has fulfilled its stewardship for the day.  It is always fun having these great young men over.  They always bring such a peaceful spirit into our home.  One missionary is brand new.  This is the third day of his 2 year mission.  A very nice young man.  I gave them an hour tutorial on using Family Tree for their genealogy and they loved it.  They hope to share it with others as they find new people to teach.

I am missing...Traveling with James.  We just love air/car trips.  We had such a nice time and it was so perfect to have that extended one on one time.  A rare opportunity for us.  But I'm enjoying savoring the moments of that trip and writing about them a little here and there.  And another thing,  Downton Abbey~bring it on, people!


Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...I have been thinking about what a blessing it is to have decent health.  Last week when I was having that allergic reaction and had so much swelling it was very hard to concentrate on other things.  I remember that I had the impression that even though it was bad I knew the Lord was in charge.  It was a miracle they realized it was my medication (even though I had been taking it for two decades) and once I stopped taking it it was markedly better overnight.  When things like that happen you feel your testimony of prayer increase dramatically.  If we didn't have the trials we wouldn't see the miracles as readily.  The key seems to be acknowledge them and be grateful. 

I am hearing...I  am listening  to my favorite songs playlist on the computer.  Daughters by John Mayor.  Sweet song with meaningful lyrics.  "Fathers be good to your daughters.  Daughters will love like you do.  Girls become lovers who turn into mothers, so mothers be good to your daughters too."  True concepts for living.

One of my guilty pleasures...Jim's massages. He is well-trained by me! He can take all the tension that builds up in my neck all day in about five minutes.  That is such a gift!  And a good foot massage from our daughter, Laura, or our granddaughter, Julia, can cure anything that ails me.  I love getting a massage but not from a stranger.  It has to be one of those three or Jen.

Pet Peeves...sleepless nights.  And just when I get my first REM moment the alarm goes off.  Argh.

I am quoting...from Pinterest~I just love this quote!



If I could change one thing it would be...that my good friend, Maureen, was not suffering so much with her pain and mobility problems.  I am thankful she has found some help.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...Birdsong~Masterpiece Theater production.  Nice!

I am curious about...friendships.  They are all so unique and so special. I am curious about how we become so close and all the dynamics behind what makes us love another person.  Sometimes it seems like so much more than just common interests and experiences.  There is that little something in each friend that you just fall in love with and it enriches you and brings you joy.  Friends take the boredom or the "quotidian factor" out of every day living and are such a blessing. (Geez, I do love that word!)
  
Plans for the rest of the week...tomorrow I'm going out shopping in the morning with my friend, then we have a church dinner in the backyard tomorrow night.  Sunday is always full of church and other blessings, Monday and Tuesday free to work on my lesson for the staff at the library on Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday no clue yet, Thursday getting my haircut and doing some research.  Friday I am going to go to a conference with my best genealogy buddy and my wonderful friend.  Carol and I are going to a Family Search Conference in Sacramento.  We are stalking an old guy that is a funny and bright teacher.  We read his blog all the time and now we get to hear him in person.  Friday and Saturday.  I am so happy to have this time with her.  She is one special lady to me.  I can hardly wait for a chance to really gab with no interruptions like we always have at work.  She is the Assistant Director at the Family History Center so she is always running around doing stuff  and I teach two staff training sessions each work day and help patrons so sometime we are just like ships passing in the night at work.  This will be our first real girl time.  Love it!  Cannot wait.  Jim has a retirement dinner and a neighborhood bocci ball party on Saturday so perfect!

One of my favorite things...Staying up late and writing when the house is quite and listening to my favorite music and chilling out.  Sometimes I'll put on a real sentimental movie and cry big crocodile tears.  It sounds weird but I love doing that with no one to laugh at me!  There are some stories that touch my heart to the core.


One thing that made me so happy this week...watching Il Postino..one of my crying jag movies.  Love it.  Sweetest movie about two friends.  It is a subtitler..Italian.  Spectacular sweet movie.

The most surprising thing this week...Spencer got his cast off and now his ankle is all swollen and discolored.  What?  Did they forget to check his ankle before casting the femur break?  That would be so annoying and unfair and malpractice like.  He has already spent 3 months in a cast and now he has this persistent new pain.

A Photo I am sharing this week..."Be Still and Know that I am God."  We have to learn to let things go, trust in Him and know that He has got this.  This will bring a restoration to our soul and peace like a brand new day!  Let His light shine in each of us.


          Until we all return...happy day to you!
     ❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How Will You Use Your Beauty?



This is so good!  What an amazing young woman and a great study.  This applies to all apparel, not just swimming suits.  I am so tired of knowing everything but their mother's maiden name!  This should be viewed by every decent and respectable man and woman.

Here is the link for those of you that receive the blog by email subscription.

http://youtu.be/WJVHRJbgLz8

My Aha Moment This Morning


Snowball AKA Project Deadline


I was talking with my friend last night at work.  We were bemoaning all the things that always seem to be pressing down on us, turning up the pressure and stress levels.  She was saying how she just needs a day to relax and have nothing to do.  Paraphrasing here...then she added but when I actually get one it, it is not that great.  That made me think about how that happens to me too.

It seems we have become so accustomed to the running that we don't know what to do with a slow day.  It is almost incomprehensible that there is not something that must be done today or that someone doesn't want something!  Surely that cannot be!

I started to think about how we live...there is one project to complete after another.  It is how most of us roll.  Have our lives become To Do Lists and Projects and Deadlines?  Kinda! As I work I am usually thinking... I am half done, almost done...done!  My brain is always running the calendar of events in my head and how I need to do XYZ to be ready.  And I always know what time it is.

So this morning I realized I really only have today to work on my family history!  I was so overwhelmed with; where to start what to do first, how I need to buy more folders as my paper files are getting way too full, I need to write some lessons for my classes, and I want to work on my own genealogy and organize the papers that have been piling up about the Mayflower and get all that in its place....yada, yada yada.  Oh and I want to blog, and research some things on Wikipedia and I have to try hard to finish up on the vacation adventure posts in my spare time.  Oh yeah, and there are all the things I have around the house.  The never-ending watering flowers (ugh!)  cleaning, cooking, you know how it is. 

Then came my AHA!  "Bonnie life is more than just project after endless project."  Life is not a project marathon.  Life is a process.  It is a process of accomplishing things a little at a time while not killing yourself in the process.  It is working on something and finding the joy, not the time clock.  It is balancing the 'have to' moments with the 'want to' moments.   It is having those days we call the "days with nothing to do" be the days of doing plenty, but just what we want to do...not just what we have to do.

 I am not suggesting never doing what we need to do, that would be very irresponsible.  But rather balancing that with the special want to do days.  May I be so bold as to suggest the kind of day when you do something just for you?  That can even include doing for others but on your terms.

In some ways I have been conscious of this feeling since leaving the workplace and that is what I love most about it.   The freedom to choose.  That is what I had the least of when I worked many hours a week for someone else.  Having my own business for six years was so much better because of the flexibility.  Doing what you want does not eliminate work, it just allows you to work at something you like to do...or even PLAY, heaven forbid.

I had a lot of feelings about that not being able to choose how I spent my time phenomenon.  But the Aha of "process not projects" really articulates it for me.  I understood this on a certain level before, but just hadn't attached language to yet.  That tends to make concepts more useful.  Until something moves from the feeling stages to the articulated stage it is hard to make changes.  (That is one reason I love writing so much.)  I want to accomplish things but with a different emphasis and paradigm. 


Nipping at one's heels...

It will help me (I'm hoping) in removing that feeling that there is a big snowball chasing me down a hill that is about to over take me and flatten me completely.  It will also make me face the fact squarely that I am the one putting that snowball on my heels.  I either make that happen or let it happen.

I want to stop putting unrealistic exceptions upon myself and life, in general, because as we all know...the projects just keep coming like beads dropped on a string with no knot at the end.

 I am going to put more emphasis on the process of living well and enjoying all that I do. I seem to use the word "savor" a lot lately.  That is living life as a process not a project.

Me pushing back at the snowball...

You are going to see me chilling (but not on a snowball) a little more and being more realistic.  Man is that he might have JOY.  (Woman too.)  And pushing unrealistically all the time robs me of that.  Some people are much more capable of it than I am.  So anyway...that was my big "Aha" moment today.  As you can see...I am blogging in the middle of all these papers all over my desk that I was reorganizing and decided that instead I needed a little joy... and that always brings me back to my keyboard and you.


Letting the snowball melt all alone...without me!

Are you enjoying your life as a project-oriented person or a person in the process of living your life to the fullest and savoring it?  It doesn't mean being lazy, it means living with a different mindset and more purposefully.  Something to think about.

Google images

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day To All The Wonderful Fathers We Know!

I absolutely love this quote.  Think about how you are the result of the love of thousands.  As a lover of genealogy and family history I just adore this thought because it is so indicative of just how special every person is.  Not only are we each a child of our Heavenly Father who loves us completely, but our human family through out the ages has conceived each of us in love.

Today I have been thinking about all the fathers in my life.  There are many.  Of course my own father and Jim's father came immediately to mind, we miss them always and wish we could turn to them for guidance often.  And most especially, my husband who has been the most amazing father our children could have ever had.  From the moment we became acquainted with the fact that we were expecting our first child, he has been a supportive father.  Always there, always ready to reach out and give of himself.  He has been a spiritual leader in our family, always a teacher, a servant and always a good example.  He loves in a total way.  What child or wife could want for more than that?

We love and miss our grandfathers.  Jim's grandfather in many ways became my best-known, best-loved grandfather too.  We stood overlooking the graves of our family today.  Grampa Andrew, our fathers, and Jim's brother, Gary.  Wow! What dynamite men.  Each and every one of them good, really good fathers.  We feel that good part of them inside of us in a real way.

When I look at our pedigree charts and try to imagine each of our grandfathers going way back, I sense they were very good people.  I wish I could know them and feel we will one day.   Of course there is always the exception and none of them were perfect, even as we are not.  But still they were mostly good at heart.

As I have worked hard to learn about them I am blessed to instinctively know that.  Each of God's children has that spark of the divine, even when our human eyes may not readily see it.  We are all a composite of those who came before us.  Today I am feeling that like never before.  A family is a sacred heritage that goes on and on in each direction. We belong to each other.

I think of our brothers, Steve and Gary and Jim's brother...they are all good fathers.  Jim's brother died at 26 with only one child, but I see the effects of his goodness in his grandson, Thomas.  Who we are affects our posterity for generations.  I think of our uncles, all good men and fathers.  Our cousins, tremendous men that have contributed much to this world.  Our friends, each one a good father and raising or has raised remarkable young people.

I have witnessed how the ones who left us early in life are missed so terribly much by their families, like Bill, Larry, John, Sione, and most recently, Alan.  The mark a father leaves behind is tangible, precious and to be remembered.  Our sweet friends that are still here are all active, happy grandfathers and even some great-grandfathers.  They are 100% in for the durations with their families.  They live their children and grandchildren's joys and sorrows right along with them.  We love you.

This is such a joy to witness over generations.  Who says getting older is not so good, does not look around with eyes to see.  As we look at the exemplary families of our children's spouses, Melissa, Lowell and Robert we see their great parents whose goodness has visited itself upon our shared grandchildren.  That influence is huge, meaningful and a great blessing to us.

We are privileged to watch our sons, Chris and the two wonderful sons our daughters married.  They amaze me to the point that a hush falls over the room sometimes as I see them at work.  They have given all for their children and their families.  We truly are the result of the love of thousands.  How can that not bring unspeakable joy to us today?

We watched a wonderful young father say good-bye to his four day old son, as the baby returned back to heaven, just weeks ago. Through the strength of their little family and the baby's very supportive grandparents, many have been lifted up in faith and hope and love~forever changed.  We will love you forever, Chapmans.  We have been taught by your deep love and faith in our Father in Heaven.

Just a little while ago I spoke with my sister-in-law, Emily, to wish her a happy birthday today.  She told me of our nephew, Nicholas, and his wife, Mara and their first new baby, Quinn, just a few months old.  She told me of their complete devotion to their little one, barely having time for anything else in their lives, in the newness of it all.  And I realized another new Dad has been born, completely and totally devoted to his little girl.   And I see, my brother, my dad, our grandfathers, uncles and cousins.  They are all a part of that eternal influence that insures Quinn she belongs to something big and powerful and where she will always be loved and cherished....her family.

May we all have had a wonderful day of reflection upon all the fathers in our lives that have been the best they knew how to be and may we feel a special joy in knowing that they have touched us for the better through their love and inherent goodness.  Thank you to all our wonderful Dads related or otherwise!   And Thanks be to Our Heavenly Father for blessing us with all of you.


James with Jennifer 3 days old!


"If in John 14:2 the word "mansion" is replaced with the Hebrew word "bayit" - meaning "family" - we get a very different interpretation of what the Savior was saying to His disciples when He talked about "mansions" within His Father's house.  "In my Father's house are many families. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (plural, meaning you and your family) ... that where I am, there ye many be also."  
 By Ryanna Ollivier~ Meridian Magazine 6/17/13

Friday, June 14, 2013

Our Wedding, June 15, 1968 Reprise

 A little the worse for wear and also
 a little the better for the journey!

Tomorrow, June 15th, we will have been married 45 years.   Seriously, I can hardly fathom that.  Life goes by so fast.  It has been a joy most of the time, especially in retrospect.  I think by the time you have been married for this long you are just filled with amazement and gratitude that another person has actually been able to put up with all of your stuff for so darn long!  Holy Smokes!

Another person has stayed with you through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, through all the trials and set backs and struggles...your person has stood by you and witnessed and shared your life, your progression, your best and worst moments.

They have accepted your repentance and forgiveness.  And you have done the same for them.  You have both worked hard to make it good and you have never stopped trying.  That is what a true Lovely Princess/Prince Charming really does!  He or she is a person that is  committed to the "us" more than to him/herself or to you.  He/she is a builder and filled with commitment to his or her promises.  A person of honor and trustworthiness.  I like anniversaries.  They are a time to reflect and gain perspective of the whole picture.  The nitty-gritty, day to day can just be set aside and you can bask in the light of the overall joy. 

 That is a miracle isn't it?  In my mind it has become divine, irreplaceable and sacred.  We share most of our life experiences in ways that no other human can ever know us or love us or care for us.  I am more in love with James today than I ever have been.  He really touches every part of my heart, my soul, my experiences..my life.  The best gifts we share, the Gospel and ~ our wonderful children and grandchildren!  Happy Anniversary, Babe, your deserve a crown!  I love you!


These are a few pictures I ran across yesterday and I think haven't been viewed by human eyes in a very long time. I have a feeling our kids have not ever seen them actually. They depict the first few hours of our married life together back in 1968. And I added one of my bridal shower at the end just for fun.


This is our hot ride to our reception after the wedding. 
I love this photo but could someone please photo shop the cat glasses and the goofy head dress? The ride is Jim's Grampa's 55 Chevy...an antique even then and the coolest car. I think it is Jim's brother, Gary, that was our driver!

The receiving line at our wedding reception
with my smokin' hot (baby) HUSBAND and my cute Mom and Dad. 
Our little Volvo! 
 
It had the shiniest black paint you ever did see and hubcaps full of rocks thanks to our clever brothers. We stopped here in Lafayette to remove them before going to a late dinner in a romantic, little restaurant called Petar's. The restaurant still exists in Lafayette but has moved to a new location.

This is a picture of the first dinner (spaghetti and salad) that I cooked for Jim in our first San Francisco apartment when we first got married. Lots of firsts! It shows our wedding china and flowers still left over from our wedding and our fancy chrome and Formica kitchen set that someone gave us with the vinyl tablecloth which was the latest and coolest tablecloth you could get! No ironing~just wipe it off! Cool ( not). We left the next day for our honeymoon at Lake Tahoe.

This is my bridal shower at my friend, Judy's, house. She was my maid of honor and best friend since 7th grade. Last year we attended the wedding of one of her daughters. Ah, the circle of life with good friends!

Check out my orange, wool, 2 piece dress with the fancy floral trim that I made (don't faint, K?) and the lovely hair....a hairpiece called a 'postiege' that was individually woven to match your hair exactly. It was essentially a long hair swatch like a horse's tail that you would loosely braid and set atop your head a la Barbra Streisand. Everyone saved their $25.00 for months and had one and they were quite fun and easy to 'do!'

The biggest advantage was you didn't have to sleep on those hard, uncomfortable rollers! I got my first hair dryer a few weeks after the wedding for my 21st birthday. Pure heaven even if you did have to get up at 3:00 am to shampoo and set your hair and then dry it under a big plastic cap attached to the hose of the dryer.

Yep, now that is VINTAGE, no?
But I digress...don't you love the yarn touch around the fancy braided bun? Such a fashionista, seriously! But the glasses...the cat glasses are the bane of my existence when I see any photos from this time period! And black... sheesh, no blending here!

C'est la vie! As my friend Michelle Simpson would say, "It is what it is, Bonnie!" No do-overs.

Good One!

My friend Marie posted this on Facebook.  Too good not to share here for those of you that haven't seen it.  I hope you enjoy it!

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling's. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. 

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then? 

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oh, Savannah!


One of the beautiful city block parks in Savannah

Since I read The Work and The Glory by Gerald Lund, I have wanted to visit Savannah.  There is something so enchanting about the south.  I can still remember the descriptions of the River Walk area down by the water front where Joshua had his mill.


I just have realized that so many of our ideas of where to travel have originated between the covers of best loved books.  I wish we had had more time to spend there.  But at least we were able to take the back roads to get to our hotel.  It took longer but was so much more interesting and pretty.  We have a thing about back roads.  We enjoy them.  We saw way too much freeway on this trip because we wanted to cover a lot of territory, but our favorite way is to just meander along stopping when the fancy strikes us.  The country sides of both South Carolina and Georgia were lovely.  The green was just so noteworthy there.  Everything green like only God can do it.

The rain clouds followed us to Savannah.  There is something cozy and romantic about traveling in a car in the rain.  We love it.  We had two rainy nights in Georgia.  I could hear Brook Benton's song in my head both nights.  Oh wait, I think I'll put it on as I write.  Ah. perfect.  ;-)

 
A real Magnolia!
We were just a week or two to 
early see them all in bloom.
  
We stayed just outside the city limits of Savannah and saved a ton of money on our hotel.  That night we went to a local restaurant recommended by the hotel concierge.  It was a family style type restaurant whose name escapes me but,  it was the epitome of southern fried everything. They had it all decked out in 70s decor...lots of brown and big booths that could hold a large family.  There was a lot of y'allin' going on in there.   It is where the local likes to go.

We had our first hush puppies and still don't know what they were.  The little waitress couldn't quite tell us.  Some kind of fried dough like a donut in the shape of a fish stick...no sugar.  In fact, I thought is was fish, all tucked in with the other fish on the fry plate and was dipping it in tartar sauce.  Jim thought that was hilarious.  (Jim of all people who eats the weirdest concoctions you can imagine on a weekly basis!  Ahem! ) Cole slaw was the only green thing in the room.  We were beginning to rethink the notion of eating something unique each place we visited.  Even delicious can be over done.  I could envision our blood turning pink from all the deep frying.

After writing that last paragraph I had to find out what they are. Here is Paula Deen's recipe for them  http://tinyurl.com/5uerm5If you click here you can see how to make hush puppies and how they got their name and some tricks for not getting your hands gooey in the process in the video.


Speaking of Paula Deen, we admired the Lady and Her Sons for begin closed on Sunday!  I am sure she is doing it for the right reasons~honoring the Sabbath Day.  There were plenty of tourists that were hoping she would have been there.  Savannah has lots of beautiful churches and we enjoyed hearing the bells ring most of the day.  We took this photo below when it cleared up in the afternoon.



In the morning as I have mentioned previously, once we got over the fact that it wasn't Saturday and we had missed church, we had our second shower of the day on the open air City Tour trolley.   It was so pretty in spite of the wetness.



Looks a lot like San Francisco right here.  
I love these fancy row houses.

 
So many pretty colors used in good taste
 in both Charleston and Savannah

The architectural features of these beautiful buildings and homes are amazing.  The one thing I think I love about the east and south so much is the noticeable difference between it and the newness  you feel in the west.  I wouldn't exactly call it antiquity, but it definitely has a more established, historical feeling.  There is a sense of pride in the maintenance of the things of the past that we don't feel here.  It has a regard for the permanence of things,  and it is accompanied by a certain special respect for preserving it.


One of the fun things about this tour was they picked up passengers in character from the early days  in their history.  This guy was a person that died during the civil war.  He died in his own neighborhood when he and his brother were arguing about the issues of slavery and he was accidentally shot.  This was a real historical character.



Loved the brick sidewalks


We passed by some beautiful little inns and hotels 
and of course some spectacular homes.

 

This looked like fun!


One of the most distinctive things about Savannah is that they have many many block sized parks in the downtown area.  You can walk a few blocks and then sit and enjoy a park bench and a little rest.   I am thinking this may be very welcomed when it is very hot and humid in the summer. 

 Many of them have historical monuments and water features and it seems to be a place where people congregate to chat and be together with friend and strangers soon to be friends.  This was very reminiscent of the Italian piazzas.  You see the buskers singing and playing their instruments.
You see people picnicking in the squares like we did.  That was delightful.

We met a wonderful old black man there that was so talkative and sweet.  Jim and I thought he was just delightful.  He was preaching the gospel and singing and selling his flowers he had woven from the reeds he had cut from along the river banks and then dried.   Jim bought me one for Mother's Day in hopes that our donation would be helpful to him!

 I tried to take their picture together but the camera was on video so I got a little piece of a spontaneous song he was singing us about God. Too bad I only caught the part about the devil 'cuz he was singing a lot about Jesus most of the time.  Nice guy, he was a kick.  Jim is holding the flower he bought me in his hand.

video


We wanted to go to the Ole Pink House for dinner but they were full so we landed up at the Pirate Restaurant recommended by our tour guide.  Umm, it was not really that great....too Disneyland-ish. It might have been more fun with some grandkids.  The food was good though.

 

Well,  the funny thing is the place that made me want to come to Savannah actually turned out to be a bust.  It was tacky and seedy and full of unsavory characters.  It features lots of booze and nasty t-shirts and the like.  The river right in front of this was cool but not this part.  Too Bourbon Street for us.  We drove by a few times to see it and that was it.

 

 River Walk~Not Our Cup of Tea

The rest of Savannah was charming and we enjoyed our short stay here.  The next day we were heading out early for Virginia and spent most of the day driving.  Our next destination, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.